Top Ten Hand Luggage Essentials for Long Haul
It occurred to me during my recent journey to the Philippines, that being scared of flying means I don’t actually take in how normal people view flying, which for the most part, is boring. At my last estimation, the only place I could go that was further away was Australia. Faced with an 18hr journey, I knew all that would safe me would be the carefully picked items I packed into my hand luggage bag, and for the first time in my life, I didn’t have too bad a flight.
Here are ten essentials I wouldn’t be without:
The actual bag itself
At the beginning of the journey, there’s no doubt in my mind you all want to look glam, and have your lovely Michael Kors bag for when you are in the airport lounge and taking all of your snapchats while boarding. Well I am here to tell you now when the only things you can fit in that bag end up being a lip-gloss and a pen, the novelty will wear off. Take a big bag. But one that has a bit of leeway. A suitcase for hand luggage is all well and good until you need to leg it through Doha airport. I took my gym bag, which was fitting for all the bastard running I needed to do.
Long haul flights are a glorious and magical thing whereby you can touch a button for food or drink. Not if the pilot is taking off though, and it could be a good 45 minutes until you can grab a water. Get a bottle after customs for your bag. The cabin pressure and the air-con make it exceptionally easy to dehydrate.
As mentioned above, dehydration is a big problem on a long haul flight, and that’s not just for you, but your skin as well. We’ve all experienced getting to the end of a long journey and wondering why we are so crusty. I used Bodyshops ‘Oils of Life’ for a really intensive boost. It’s a bit greasy and I wouldn’t use it normally, but my skin was dry as a Nuns chuff by time I got to the end of the journey, so it was a welcome addition to all of my hand luggage belongings.
So you still can’t lurk on someone’s snapchat story without them knowing, but you can charge your phone on a plane. Most long haul airliners now have cute little charging ports in the IFE. I know you may think it’s crazy because you can’t use your phone on the plane, but some even have Wifi. Even if they haven’t, do you want to risk getting to the other end and not being able to access your email to get your transfer confirmation and ending up stranded in Thailand at the slowest airport in the world trying to explain to a taxi driver where your hotel is?
In my experience, neck pillows range from around a pound to around 1 million pound. Ok, that was a lie, but you seriously can get some expensive neck pillows. You really don’t need to. Anything that will stay around your neck when you forget you have it on and need to pee and will suffice more than those horrifically inadequate pillows the airline give you will do. Let’s face it, economy is never going to be comfortable. Best to just deal with it, grab a window seat and try and get some shut eye when they let you put the blinds down.
No, you can’t wear tracksuit bottoms to the airport, unless you are flying to Bognor Regis. But onces those seatbelt signs come off, and the food has been, is anyone really going to judge you if you put on joggers and a hoody? I had my comfiest most minging comfies on for both flights. It also helped me feel hugely refreshed when I changed back into ‘normal clothes’ to get off the flight.
Let’s face it, you have literally 18 hours or so to kill. No one can ring you. You don’t need to worry about work emails. Your skin is going to dry out. So why not take a facemask, and whack one on and have a pamper while you are on the plane? If you think the person next to you will think you are weird, wait until you watch ‘Me before you’ on the IFE and sob your heart out while sitting on your own drinking your wine.
If you are like me, you can’t go ten seconds during the day without someone calling your name, asking you to do something or moaning at you. So again, make the most of the time. You can still take liquids in your hand luggage, albeit not many. Take some nail polish and get your nails ship shape before you arrive. Once you step off the plane you will be holiday fresh.
Don’t you just love it when they say ‘shutters up for landing’ and the sun, that thing that you have looked at in the sky for your whole life, appears like a burning ball of fire in the sky that has been personally sent to singe your eyeballs. On a long haul, landing can take up to an hour. Trust me, pack your shades, and no matter how much it looks like you are trying to be a Kardashian, wear them.
Ok, the blogger in me is biased. I wrote so many blogs on my flight. Not only did it pass the time but I would NEVER have had time to structure the really long one about my trip to the Philippines. If you are not a blogger, take the time to make a pointless list of useless rubbish that will be of no benefit to you. That will kill time!